For Immediate Release
October 17, 2019
Contact Information

Angela Courtney, 870-538-4853

(BPRW) Plans Unveiled for State Holiday to Honor Founder of Ebony and Jet Magazines

Linda Johnson Rice, Daughter of John H. Johnson will be in attendace to lead celebration

(Black PR Wire)  – (Arkansas City, Ark.) The State of Arkansas is honoring one of its native sons, John H. Johnson, with an official holiday, Friday, November 1, 2019.  John H. Johnson Day was established April 16, 2019 during the 92nd General Assembly.  
Johnson published Ebony and Jet Magazines, and was the founder, publisher, chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, once the largest Black-owned publishing company in the world.  

The official holiday will unveil at two locations: John H. Johnson Museum and Educational Center (John H. Johnson Museum), 604 President Street/Courthouse Square at 10:00 a.m. in Arkansas City; and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 West 9th Street at 5:30 p.m. in Little Rock.
Friends of John H. Johnson Museum, curators of John H. Johnson Day, said November was selected for Johnson’s holiday because it was the month that Ebony Magazine (Ebony) started.  “November 1, 1945 was the date Mr. Johnson launched Ebony and that’s the ideal date to celebrate his legacy.  His lifestyle magazines created positive images and content for not only Black America but for how White America should see Black America.”  

Dr. Margena A. Christian, author of the book, Empire: The House That John H. Johnson Built, said recognizing November to honor Johnson is quite fitting.  “Mr. Johnson would always say November was his golden month.”  Christian worked closely with Johnson at his publishing company in Chicago.
Christian will be the guest speaker at the Mosaic Templars Culture Center at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and at the John H. Johnson Museum at 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Museum was established in 2004, with Johnson in attendance at its grand opening.  For this year’s holiday observance, the Museum will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with an official John H. Johnson Day signing, school participation and student activities, Museum tours and a book presentation by Christian.  

 John H. Johnson Day  
Dr. Barbara Lofton, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Sam M. Walton College of Business (WCOB) at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville will present the John H. Johnson Entrepreneur Award to a power couple who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of Johnson.  Mr. Hosea Sanders, TV Anchor, ABC 7 WLS Chicago will present the John H. Johnson Journalism and Media Award to a power couple who excels in journalism and multimedia.  This year’s John H. Johnson Entrepreneur Award recipients are Mr. Eddie and Mrs. Sherra Armstrong with Cannabis Capital Group.  This year’s Journalism and Media Award recipients are Mr. Renarda and Mrs. Helaine Williams with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Newspaper.  
John H. Johnson Day events in Little Rock and Arkansas City are free to the public. RSVP at is required for the Little Rock celebration due to seating capacity.  
Empire: The House That John H. Johnson Built is $25 advance purchase only at Books will not be sold at the Little Rock commemoration.  A limited number of this book will be available for $25 at the John H. Johnson Museum in Arkansas City, Friday, November 1, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Proceeds from the book sales will support John H. Johnson Museum’s programs and John H. Johnson Day.
About John H. Johnson

John H. Johnson was born in Arkansas City, Arkansas in 1918.  His mother moved the family to Chicago after Johnson finished the 8th grade.  
 Johnson achieved many distinctions throughout his career.  He was the recipient of more than 30 honorary doctorate degrees, among them: the Carnegie Mellon University, Eastern Michigan University, Harvard University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Southern California and Wayne State University.
He was inducted into the WCOB’s Arkansas Business Hall of Fame; Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and Illinois Business Hall of Fame.  He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom; Harvard University’s Distinguished Service Award; American Advertising Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Horatio Alger Award; Wall Street Journal Dow Jones Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, to name a few.
An honorary member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Johnson served on numerous boards including:  Bell and Howell, Chrysler Corporation, Continental Bank, Dial Corporation, Dillard’s, Inc, Greyhound, Twentieth Century Fox, and Zenith Radio Corporation, among others. 
Johnson was the first African American to appear on Forbes Magazine’s list of 400 wealthiest Americans.  For more information on John H. Johnson Museum and John H. Johnson Day, visit